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Gabija Fatenaite

May 13, 2020 6 min read


Leveraging data to its fullest potential is quickly becoming a key component and requirement of any business. Web scrapers are an essential tool for data gathering. Data acquired from web scrapers can be used for pricing intelligence, market trend analysis, and many other important business ventures.

When gathering data for business, there are multiple paths one can take. Most companies have two options – finding the best web scraper on the market or building an in-house data gathering tool. Most choose to build an infrastructure supported by proxies. However, it is not necessarily the most optimal option.

At Oxylabs, we offer both proxies and already built web scraping tools. One of such tools is Web Scraper. It is a quick and easy web scraping and data gathering solution built to scrape any target of your choice. Let’s dig a little bit deeper into how Web Scraper works and what are its benefits.

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Check out our Account Manager Gabriele explaining what Web Scraper is:

Web Scraper explained

What is Web Scraper? 

Web Scraper is a data gathering tool allowing you to scrape any target of your choice. There is no need to set up proxies or manage them. All you need to do is give us a URL, and we’ll give back the data back in HTML format.

Best Web Scraper Explained
Web Scraper makes data gathering easy

Web Scraper benefits

Web Scraper has a few distinct benefits that should be taken into consideration when choosing a scraping solution for your business:  

  • It is easy to use – all you need to do is provide us with a URL you wish to scrape, and the Web Scraper will give back your data in HTML.
  • You can scrape any target – choose any target you wish to scrape.
  • It is ready to use no need to manage proxies, and forget building or maintaining a scraper – we’ll do it for you.

Most importantly, our Web Scraper allows you to cut through the acquisition process and go straight to data parsing and analysis. Instead of spending time and resources on proxy management, focus on implementing data-driven business solutions.

Why choose Web Scraper for your business?

Web Scraper removes the hassle and pain of managing a data gathering infrastructure. Building an in-house solution requires companies to go through a long and difficult process. This process includes:

  • Creating scripts 
  • Building a scraping path (or a link list) 
  • Buying proxies 
  • Managing proxies 

All of this hassle, just to get the, hopefully, best web scraper off the ground. With our data gathering tool, web scraping becomes significantly easier as the entire process is managed on our side. All our users need to do is parse the data they receive.

Why do we recommend Web Scraper?

So, why should you choose Web Scraper over proxies? According to our Product Owner Aleksandras Sulzenko, there are quite a few reasons why Web Scraper should be your choice:

Aleksandras Sulzenko explains the best Web Scraper
Lead Dedicated Account Manager, Aleksandras Sulzenko

The biggest downside to using proxies is that they need to be managed and maintained – that means spending extra resources and time. On the other hand, that won’t be an issue with Web Scraper, as all of the proxy management will be done on our side.

With Web Scraper, you’ll have access to multiple geo-locations for the same initial price, unlike with data center proxies where further costs would be involved. We only charge you for the number of HTMLs (no traffic costs) and offer JavaScript support.

The whole work process of Web Scraper is simply a lot more resource-efficient. You can make use of the Callback method with which you don’t have to keep an open connection or check your task status and can collect your data whenever you need it (within 24 hours).

If you’re torn between choosing Web Scraper or Real-Time Crawler – it really depends on what target sites you want to scrape. If it’s a big search engine or any e-commerce site, Real-Time Crawler is your best option. If you also have a bunch of small target sites – I recommend you use both. This way you’ll have the highest chance to successfully gather data from multiple targets without having to worry about managing proxies, avoiding captchas, and scaling your whole infrastructure.

Finding the best web scraper: the alternatives

It is important to note that Web Scraper is a data gathering tool especially suitable for those who don’t want to scrape challenging targets such as search engines or e-commerce websites but need a reliable and fast scraper API for any other source.

If you need to scrape search engines, e-commerce websites or require a solution for product page intelligence, the best web scraper solution for this would be Real-Time Crawler. We have gone into great detail what is Real-Time Crawler and its benefits, so make sure to check our blog post.  In short, our Real-Time Crawler is made for those who want to focus on data analysis instead of data gathering as it allows for an efficient way to collect and parse data.

Web Scraper vs Real-Time Crawler

Both Web Scraper and Real-Time Crawler are based on the same principles but intended for slightly different tasks. In essence, both of these tools are used for data gathering. Which one will be the best web scraper for your projects will depend on the targets chosen.

Finally, there is always the option of building your own in-house data gathering tool. Unfortunately, in-house solutions require a dedicated developer (or tech) team to manage the scraping, proxy rotation and data parsing process. If the infrastructure isn’t already there, buying a out-of-the-box solution and looking for the best web scraper available will generally be the better option.

Conclusions

When choosing between proxies or Web Scraper – the latter is a choice that will not only be easier to manage but will be a more efficient and time-saving solution for your business. Forget about managing the scraping infrastructure, we will do it for you!

If you want to get started with your web scraping or other data gathering projects, sign up here! You can also contact our sales department if you still have questions or want to iron out the final details.

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About Gabija Fatenaite

Gabija Fatenaite is a Content Manager at Oxylabs. Having grown up on video games and the internet, she grew to find the tech side of things more and more interesting over the years. So if you ever find yourself wanting to learn more about proxies (or video games), feel free to contact her - she’ll be more than happy to answer you.

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All information on Oxylabs Blog is provided on an "as is" basis and for informational purposes only. We make no representation and disclaim all liability with respect to your use of any information contained on Oxylabs Blog or any third-party websites that may be linked therein. Before engaging in scraping activities of any kind you should consult your legal advisors and carefully read the particular website's terms of service or receive a scraping license.